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Transformative Literacy

About Us

Philosophy Statement

The faculty in the Transformative Literacy Program is committed to the exploration of expansive notions of literacy and the intersections of literacy and inequities for the purpose of developing equitable educational structures and practices. We believe that people’s literacies are best supported by making literacies relevant to people’s lives, utilizing people’s cultures as a basis for teaching and learning, and increasing a love of literacy. As a faculty we are dedicated to supporting and developing literacies through diverse teaching and learning styles. We see literacies as processes that involve acquiring, producing, and communicating knowledge. literacies are also about making sense of and giving meaning to the world as well as word. We understand that literacies shape and are shaped by identities, contexts, structures, and intellectual, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual capabilities. These literacies are articulated and integrated through language practices, reading and writing in print and other sign systems such as images, movement, music, and performance.

Therefore, we concern ourselves with how candidates and students read, write, speak, listen to, think about, interact with, and create the plethora of texts that exist in their worlds. In addition to valuing print-based texts, we examine the reading and writing of audio, visual, gestural, spatial, and body texts. In our teaching we build on candidates’ strengths, build curriculum around candidates’ lives, communities and cultures, and incorporate the creativity and insights of candidates as they make sense of the world. Our pedagogies link literacy learning with creative problem solving, inquiry-based learning, learning-centered classrooms, and multiple ways of weaving meaning out of the world. In turn, we demonstrate these pedagogical practices as models for candidates to implement with their own students.

Throughout the classes in this program, you will have the opportunities to explore key concepts within literacy including:

  • constructions of literacy assessments that are diverse and multimodal

  • home-school-community connections

  • utilizing literacies as tools to move people from passive objects to active subjects

  • the ways in which literacies can reflect, promote, and sustain bias and discrimination

  • the ways in which literacies can sustain collaborations and support self-actualization and advocacy to improve our lives, the lives of others in our communities, and the lives of people in the world

  • the role of school in the reproducing and changing of society